This homemade pecan pie made with a healthy pie crust and healthy pecan pie filling is so easy and delicious – it’s awesome to enjoy a family favorite without sacrificing your healthy eating goals!
Somehow, I made it until my early thirties until I ever tried a pecan pie. It always seemed so strange to me to fill a pie with…nuts. So, I went for years without ever even trying one. Which is kinda crazy, if you think about it. I mean — how did I not just TRY a kind of pie before?
This is ME we’re talking about.
It’s pie. P.I.E.
Then, one day a few years ago, when we were out with the family enjoying a day trip to Fredericksburg (<—- LOVE BTW), we stopped into a super cute and sweet pie shop. The lady at the front counter boasted about how their Orange Bourbon Pecan Pie was recently featured in Sunset Magazine and it was world-renowned.
Okay okay okay, it was time to finally try pecan pie. How do you say no to that?
So, we ordered a slice of the world famous pecan pie (aaaaaand a few other slices of other pies) and I went for it.
It was then that I realized I had been missing out on a whole amazing kind of pie my entire life.
Pecan pie was amazing! And that orange hint — puh-LEASE.
Note: To all other kinds of fruit pie, I still love you very, very much.
Last year I asked you on Instagram and Facebook what special holiday recipes you wanted me to #makeithealthy for the holiday season.
Not surprisingly, pecan pie was THE most requested holiday recipe from all the votes.
Pecan pie is amazing – so why not make it into something we can enjoy on a healthy diet, am I right?!?
So, for all you pecan pie lovers who want to keep up your healthy lifestyle, this holiday season and throughout the year, I hope you enjoy this healthy pecan pie recipe as much as we do because it’s not only a low sugar pecan pie and a low-calorie pecan pie but also a delicious dessert perfect for Thanksgiving and the holiday season. It’s really a shame not to make it.
IS PECAN PIE HEALTHY?
To answer this question, we have to take a look at your typical ingredients of pecan pie.
We typically will have:
- Refrigerated pie crust or homemade pie crust made with butter and all-purpose flour –> not healthy;
- Eggs – a great source of protein –> healthy;
- Corn syrup –> not healthy;
- Brown sugar –> not healthy;
- Butter –> not healthy;
- Pecans –> healthy.
Overall, normal pecan pie is not so healthy. But, here’s the good news. Pecan pie can be made healthy. It’s super easy to substitute unhealthy ingredients for healthy ones.
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY HOMEMADE PECAN PIE
If you’ve never made pecan pie, it’s so shockingly simple – you just make the easy cinnamon-egg filling and then pour it over a bunch of raw pecans in the pie crust. Pop it in the oven and it rises and bakes like a miracle.
That’s right: a miracle.
- Making this pecan pie healthy was not too hard at all, thanks to my trusty healthy pie crust, which uses whole wheat pastry flour and coconut oil instead of butter. More about it later. But nom.
- Making pecan pie without corn syrup and refined sugars will also make it healthier. A great substitute for corn syrup in pecan pie is raw honey. And let me tell you something, using raw honey sweetens the pie and works beautifully. And another thing – this is my favorite pecan pie recipe without corn syrup but keep reading if you want more healthy substitutes for corn syrup.
PECANS VS WALNUTS
Are pecans healthy? YES. Are walnuts healthy? Also YES.
Ok, so technically pecans vs walnuts is not a battle. Not like refined white sugar vs coconut sugar, anyway (spoiler: coconut sugar is the winner in that battle!). However, I think it’s important to know the difference between pecans and walnuts. Because yes, peeps, they differ in shape, taste, and nutritional benefits.
- have a slightly different shape and they are smaller, compared to walnuts;
- have a mild taste;
- are rich in protein and fiber;
- contain more thiamine than walnuts;
- are rich in vitamin E.
- are broader than pecans;
- also sweeter;
- a great source of B6;
- contain more fatty acids and also monounsaturated fats;
- contain less fiber than pecans.
Both nuts are:
- rich in Omega-3 fatty acids;
- rich in minerals.
As you can see, pecans and walnuts provide similar health benefits but also a few different ones. Both are good for you. But it’s important to know they are not the same because their taste is different and if you want this homemade pecan pie to taste like pecan pie or your healthy pecan recipes to taste like pecans, you shouldn’t confuse walnuts with pecans.
HOW TO MAKE PECAN PIE WITHOUT CORN SYRUP
I told you how you can make a low sugar pecan pie by replacing corn syrup with honey, but I promised I will give you other corn syrup alternative. Also, I want to tell you a few things about corn syrup and its alternatives so you can choose the best substitute for you.
Corn syrup is actually considered more unhealthy than sugar. Can you believe it? Corn syrup causes health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and heart problems. Sounds scary, right?
So let’s find healthier corn syrup alternatives. To make this pecan pie recipe, no corn syrup is required. Nope. Zilch. Zero. None. You need, however, something to sweeten the pie. And, while there are many natural sweeteners on the market, not all of them work in a pie or in other types of baked goods, and not all of them are clean-eating approved.
To make this pecan pie without corn syrup, you can use:
- Raw honey – has a mild flavor but intense sweetness and replaces corn syrup without altering the taste of the pie.
- Pure Maple syrup – pure maple syrup is also good in this pecan pie but it will give the pie a strong maple flavor that not all people like.
Raw honey is my favorite corn syrup substitute.
HOW TO MAKE PIE CRUST WITHOUT BUTTER
We managed to make healthy pecan pie filling. Yay! But we can’t forget about the pie crust. We have to make pecan pie crust healthy too, right? Of course.
To make healthy pie crust, you just have to:
- Replace butter with coconut oil;
- Use coconut sugar instead of refined sugar.
Check out my healthy pie crust recipe where I explain in detail how to make pie crust without butter.
HOW LONG TO BAKE PECAN PIE
Baking pecan pie is a 2-step process. It takes 30-35 minutes for the pecan pie to bake but follow these 2 steps if you want to make sure the healthy pecan pie is baked to perfection:
- Place the pie in the oven and bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and bake the pecan pie for another 20-25 minutes.
Pecan pie is done when is no longer giggly and it has small cracks on top. Oh yea, and it will look GORGEOUS.
HOW LONG DOES PECAN PIE LAST?
If any of the pie makes it past dessert, it lasts for…
- 2 days at room temperature;
- 4 days in the fridge;
- up to 4 months in the freezer.
MORE THANKSGIVING DESSERT RECIPES!
You learned how to make homemade pecan pie. Congratulations! Do you want to learn how to make another Thanksgiving dessert that is healthy and delicious? I bet you do! That’s why I have one more Thanksgiving dessert recipe for ya.
SOUTHERN SWEET POTATO PIE
Another great pie for your Thanksgiving table is this Southern Sweet Potato Pie.
Sweet potato pie is similar to pumpkin pie, however, there are a few noticeable differences as well. For example, sweet potato pie is made only with cinnamon and nutmeg so it has a lighter spices flavor compared to pumpkin pie. Get the recipe.
Healthy Pecan Pie
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 tsp fresh orange zest
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp ground ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 cups raw pecans
- 1 bottom pie crust
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine raw honey, coconut oil, eggs, fresh orange zest, sea salt, unsweetened almond milk, ground cinnamon, pure vanilla extract, and whole wheat pastry flour. Stir to combine.
Arrange the raw pecans into the prepared 9-inch pie crust.
Pour the liquid filling mixture over the pecans, spreading some with a spoon if necessary.
Place into the oven and bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes.
The pie will rise in the oven. You’ll know it’s done when it has small cracks in the top and is no longer giggly.
Remove from oven and allow to cool, preferably overnight.
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40 thoughts on “Healthy Pecan Pie (Without Corn Syrup!)”
What an amazing recipe! Can’t wait to try it. But I am curious. What is a comparable option to substitute for the wheat flour ingredient?
I am allergic to wheat.
And allergic to several things including sugar, so that’s how I stumbled across your recipe! So excited – I’ve discovered and saved several of your recipes. I think I’ll enjoy cooking again since being diagnosed with so many food allergies.
Hi Ashleigh, thank you for your comment! Is spelt flour off the table? It’s in the same family as wheat. Have you tried almond flour? You might find this post useful when finding a substitute: The 9 Best Healthy Flour Substitutes – https://www.asweetpeachef.com/best-healthy-flour-substitutes/ – Jen
Definitely not the usual flavor of Pecan Pie. We were looking forward to it after it was cooled and ready, but it’s different. I love pecan pies… So if you are expecting to have the usual dessert, it is not the same. The whole wheat crust flavor and coconut oil, transform the whole pie. I am commenting here so people know what to expect when preparing the recipe.
Great recipe! It’s my first time making pecan pie. I hate store bought with disgusting smooshy stuff and little pecan. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Thank you so much.
My boyfriend requested pecan pie for Christmas, and I’m not a fan of it but I saw your recipe and thought if I’m going to make it, at least lets try making a healthy version. Must say I absolutely loved this, it was so delicious, and I didn’t feel horrible after eating it! My boyfriend said it was the best, so thank you. It will be a staple recipe for holidays!
Not the best recipe it was a bit too sweet other than that it would have been fine
This was so great, thank you!! I had to use regular flour as that’s all I had, but other than that followed it exactly. Nice to have healthy options. I loved the slight orange taste from the zest!
I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a big hit with my health-conscious but food-loving family! I will say, if anyone came here expecting this to turn out like a typical sugar-loaded gooey pecan pie, this is not the recipe for you. This pie is a lot less sweet, but has lovely flavors of pecan, orange, and cinnamon–almost giving it an apple feel! It’s filling for sure, but not in an overly-sweet way, if that makes sense. It tastes like pecans, not sugar! I am keeping this one for years to come! Thank you, Lacey!
Do I need the orange zest for this recipe?
I looked for orange zest and couldn’t find it at the store. I don’t believe you really need it. Your pie will still be delicious without using the orange zest.
You get orange zest but taking a gratern with very small holes and scraping the side of an orange so you get very small shavings of the peel. You use just the bright orange part, don’t use shavings from the white part of the orange because it’s bitter. The peel has natural oils in it that are very flavorful and wonderful for cooking.
This recipe was a big hit with my Thanksgiving dinner guests/family members who don’t usually do their best to eat healthier food. We are close enough that they would let me know if they didn’t like something. But they loved it and asked to take some home. I should have made two!
Used non raw pecans, will cook less time maybe….not sure how to change coking though.
So do you blind bake the pie crust or do it all at once?
Can I use Maple syrup instead of honey?
THANK YOU so much!!! Happy Thanksgiving. Thinking I might use Oatmeal flour…….instead of the pastry flour. Oats usually imparts a nutty flavor. Quaker Oats whirled into flour! MickeyC
So excited to try this! But, my husband is highly allergic to almonds. Any good substitutions for the almond milk? Is regular milk OK?
I’m sure regular (or any other kind of) milk would be fine!
Lin yes I used regular whole powdered milk with a little water. Coconut milk works. Oat milk etc. I put chocolate chips or chopped chocolate semi sweet in the pie crust with the pecans. Yum
If I’m using a store bought unbaked roll out crust, do I bake it first and then add the pie filling? Or add the pie filling to the unbaked crust?
Hi Lacey, I’d like to use this recipe in a newsletter I do for a residential community in Bluffton, SC. I’ll give full credit to you and your website and publish your URL so anyone who likes it and wants to read more knows how to do so. Are you ok with this use? It’s a small print run, so no fee attached, but hopefully some healthier people and some new readers for you!
I have to laugh at the instruction to let it sit overnight! I don’t think I’m going to be able to do that!
Could this pie be created using almonds instead of pecans and Would it be considered a diabetic dessert?
Great to see an old-time favorite without the corn syrup. Well done! We have a daughter who struggles with gluten so we also swap out the all-purpose flour for pecan meal (flour). It works and you keep the pecan flavor. Thanks for posting this recipe!
Yay, so glad you enjoyed it and appreciate the no corn syrup 🙂
Could you use Whole Wheat Spelt flour for this recipe and also for the base as well?
I’m in New Zealand and have trouble finding Pastry flour.
Made the recipe and used homemade Martha Stewart pie crust. didn’t have the custard filling in the middle. It sunk into the crust. Tasty but no “goo” in the middle layer. Not sure what I could have done differently.
It doesn’t tend to have much of that “goo” but it is still moist 🙂
Lightly prebake the crust first.
Thanks for the great recipe. I’m trying it out tonight. My husband had a heart attack last Jan and he can’t have regular pie. This looks like it would be just as good or better. Only one thing: on step 6 I think you meant to put “jiggly” not “giggly” lol.
You give the calories, etc for one serving, but no indication of how many the pie serves.
Hi Susan! I’ve updated the nutrition facts to include the amount of calories and other nutrition information per slice. The pie yields 8 slices/servings. Hope that helps!
We should make this with local pecans this year.
YES we totally should!
Is there any way to make this gluten free? Can I sub oat or almond flour for the whole wheat pastry flour?
I haven’t tried using almond flour for this recipe yet, but I’d bet it would work. That or a GF all-purpose flour.
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